SW Portrait

I am a wife, mother, Speech-Language Pathologist, thyroid cancer survivor, and an ACE Certified Health Coach and Group Fitness Instructor (with additional certifications in P90X, Turbo Kick, PiYo, and Country Heat). I have a passion for health and fitness and desire to help others who struggle with their weight and/or thyroid issues to find success and become healthy through clean-eating and exercise.


Blog

Value Your Health NOW! September 13, 2017

Health is Not Valued Until Sickness ComesHEALTH is not valued until sickness comes. Unfortunately, this statement is so true. I think sometimes we believe we will not be affected by the poor habits that we have developed and we continue on as usual. However, once something happens to us or someone close to us, our eyes start to open a little. I say a little because it sometimes takes multiple events for us to truly see how our habits are affecting our lives.

I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this as well. I was not a healthy eater growing up and I honestly was not a fan of exercise, particularly cardio exercises. I did start to make the switch to eating more organic foods in my twenties, but I was not particularly concerned about eating 

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Endocrine Disruptors and Weight Control February 27, 2017

Endocrine DisruptorsWhat is an endocrine disruptor...and how can it effect our weight? Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that "disrupt" or interfere with our body's endocrine system, which in turn may cause adverse effects in our developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune systems. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences adds that, "A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides."

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Be Real ~ My Personal Journey June 1, 2016

Be RealWarning: vulnerable moment coming!  I would love for people to think that I have always eaten healthy and that I have never struggled with my weight, but unfortunately, that is far from the truth. If you are a close family or friend of mine you probably know some of the struggles that I have dealt with over the years with fitness and nutrition; however, I rarely ever share my full story for everyone to read.  So, get ready because I have felt compelled to share some of my struggles today AND what has helped me to overcome them.

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Take the "Killer Core" Challenge December 14, 2015

Core Challenge

How strong is your core? Did you know that strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities? While core exercises are known to help tone our abs they can also help us improve our balance and stability. After dealing with a frozen shoulder and and undergoing a shoulder manipulation I was unable to do many of the core exercises, so during that time I lost a lot of core strength. As a result, when I was able to return to normal exercising I found that I had lost a lot of balance and stability...and felt like I was tumbling every time I tried a balance move. Fortunately, as I've started building my core strength back up I'm regaining my balance and stability.

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21 Day Fix Approved Turkey Burgers October 12, 2015

Turkey BurgerWhether you're on the 21 Day Fix or you're just looking for a healthy protein option, these turkey burgers are a great choice. Not only are they tasty, but they are super easy to make...even easier if you hand them to your spouse to grill! :-) In all honestly, this is a recipe that I threw together with ingredients that I had on hand because I was trying to figure out what to do with the ground turkey that we'd purchased before it spoiled. So, when my 10-year-old took his first bite and exclaimed about how delicious they were, I knew I had a winner. Lastly, I chose to eat my burger without a bun (with just a little bit of Himalayan salt), but my family had them with buns...so, either way they taste great. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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Hypothyroidism & Poor Circulation August 6, 2015

EXERCISEDaily exercise is recommended for most individuals; however, for those with hypothyroidism exercise is essential for both metabolism and circulation.  In fact, circulation is typically decreased in people with hypothyroidism and it's highly recommended that we take proactive measures to prevent poor leg circulation.  

Since our thyroid levels may not always be adequately controlled by our thyroid medications the most important thing we can do to improve our leg circulation is EXERCISE.  

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Eat Selenium Rich Foods for a Healthy Thyroid July 2, 2015

Mixed NutsSelenium? If you are like me, I had absolutely no clue about selenium prior to having been diagnosed with any thyroid issues. So, to give a quick overview, our bodies need selenium to help our thyroid gland function properly.  Plus, when our bodies are deficient of selenium we may experience pain in the muscles and joints, white spots on the fingernails, and unhealthy hair. It is also thought that over time a selenium deficiency may lead to Hashimoto's disease.  Therefore, it is recommended that we get around 70µg (micrograms) of selenium each day.

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Tips For A Healthy Thyroid June 18, 2015

IHealthy Thyroid Tips stumbled upon this graphic/picture by NutraPhoria School of Holistic Nutrition the other day and loved how they broke down the vital nutrients that we need for healthy thyroid function along with key things to avoid.  I know I have already shared some of this, but I like how this is nice and compact for easy reference.  I will continue to share more indepth information on the ones that I have not already shared about, but thought everyone would appreciate these main tips.

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The Importance of Proper Thyroid Functioning June 11, 2015

How Your Thyroid Works For YouI thought this week's Team Beachbody blog post about thyroid functioning was timely and I LOVE how the author started it off, "When you think of the body parts central to who you are, the brain and heart probably come to mind, maybe even the gut. But let me nominate another candidate: The thyroid."

When I had my thyroid removed in two different surgeries over 12 1/2 years ago I had no clue how much the thyroid controlled. As Ben Sullivan states, "It support or regulates literally every function in your body" and has been called "the great regulator of body and mind."  So, needless to say, if your thyroid isn't functioning optimally...neither are you. 

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The Good and Bad on Cruciferous Vegetables June 4, 2015

Cruciferous VeggiesYou've been told your whole life to eat your veggies, but then someone tells you to avoid cruciferous vegetables (e.g., kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage) because they're not good for your thyroid.  So, what do you do...stop eating them? Stand the risk losing out on tons of healthy benefits?

The issue with cruciferous vegetables is that they're considered to be goitrogenic.  Goitrogenic foods slow down thyroid functioning due to an interference with iodine uptake, which, in turn, may cause the thyroid gland to become enlarged (e.g., goiter). So, how do we eat these nutritious veggies without experiencing these negative effects?  

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Water, Dehydration, & Thyroid May 28, 2015

WaterI've been learning a lot about dehydration and the negative impact it can have on our health, including our metabolism. So, although many may not think about the correlation of drinking water with thyroid health, I believe it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy metabolism and in return better thyroid regulation.  Since water plays a role in almost all of our body's biological functioning it makes sense that our metabolism would slow down when we get dehydrated.

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Avoiding Soy Can Be Tricky May 14, 2015

SoybeansIf you have done any research about hypothyroidism and/or thyroid disorders you've probably stumbled upon article after article stating the negative effects of soy.  There are several reasons why it's best to avoid soy, but the fact that it contributes to low thyroid function and it interferes with hormones should be enough to convince us that it's not worth eating.   Not to mention, it's estimated that over 90% of soy production is genetically modified...which leads to a whole new discussion.  So, the issue now lies in all of the foods that contain soy and how to avoid it.

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Coconut Oil ~ Good Choice for Thyroid April 30, 2015

Coconut Oil

Did you know that the oils you use could either highly benefit or negatively affect your thyroid health?   The biggest offenders are vegetable oils or polyunsaturated oils…with the largest source of commercially prepared foods coming from the soybean.  If you have done any research about foods and thyroid then you probably already know that there’s a lot of information regarding the detrimental effects of soy on the thyroid gland. 

So, what type of oils are good for us?  The answer, saturated oils…especially coconut oil which is primarily made up of medium chain fatty acids, which are known to increase metabolism and help with weight loss.  In fact, it appears 

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How to Live Well with Hypothyroidism March 24, 2015

Tips for Living Well with HypothyroidismHaving lived 12 plus years without a thyroid I know a bit about hypothyroidism. :-) I have my ups and downs, but through it all I have learned what it takes to live well.  If you suffer fromy hypothyroidism you know that sluggish, exhausted feeling that I like to call "thyroid tired" and you may have experienced what many of us call "foggy brain," where you essentially have difficulty focusing or concentrating.

Sometimes I forget that it took me several years to learn what I've learned and I forget that others may not have all the info yet either. So, I've decided that if I am truly going to be an advocate for those with thyroid issues then I need to start sharing some of the tips that I have learned over the years. 

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The Real Me March 13, 2015

Selfie - 3/13/15My story…sometimes I don’t even know where to begin!!!  If you had any idea of how I began you would be shocked to learn that I am now an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, P90X Certified Trainer, and certified in both TurboKick and PiYo!  So, let me start with a little history.  I was shy and insecure as a youth and struggled with my eating and my weight.  I was never obese, but I honestly didn’t know how to eat properly…or how to control my eating…and I constantly struggled with my weight and feeling fat.  With my family history, I worried that I would become really large and frankly was obsessed about it.  I had wide hips just like many of my family members and I always felt that it made me look even bigger.  So, needless to say, I was VERY insecure about all of that.

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10 Day Clean Eating Challenge August 15, 2014

10 Day ChallengeNeed a little support to clean up your diet? I will hosting a 10-DAY CLEAN EATING CHALLENGE after Labor Day (and my birthday...so I can have a little birthday cake).  So, the official start date will be Monday, September 8th and we would love to have you join us for support, motivation, and clean-eating recipe ideas.

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Pizza Zucchini Boats August 12, 2014

Pizza Zucchini BoatsDo you have a little extra zucchini in your garden and want to try something fun? I made these Pizza Zucchini Boats when my husband and sons were making regular pizza since I didn't have the time to make a gluten-free crust. I had my protein on the side, but you could add whatever you wanted inside your boats. It was tasty...and a fun twist! 

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Progress Requires Change July 20, 2014

Progress_ChangeCHANGE...this is the KEY to making progress!!! Having just completed the 3-Day Refresh I'm reminded that sometime we just need to switch things up a little if we want to see progress. With diet, that may mean switching your calories up or down...or adding a little variety to your diet. With fitness, it may involve changing up your routine with more or less cardio or adding more weight or resistance type exercises. However, the important thing to remember is that you must first believe that you need to change before change is possible. Do you believe?

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Swiss Chard ~ A Good Choice May 19, 2014

Swiss Chard (Swiss Chard)

If you suffer from hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease you have probably heard that you should avoid or limit goitrogenic foods.  Unfortunately, many of the goitrogenic foods also provide rich nutrients that our bodies need.  So, today I wanted to discuss one particular goitrogenic food that is labeled as a nutritional powerhouse…kale.

Fortunately, after doing a little research, I have learned that when you steam or cook kale or other goitrogenic cruciferous vegetables the negative effect is greatly reduced.  So, it does not appear that kale has to totally be cut from our diets, but they do suggest we limit our intake and steam or cook it.  

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Tip Toe If You Must…But Take The Step! April 15, 2014

Take the StepDo you struggle to find the motivation to start a new exercise or nutrition program?  Do you want to change, but you don’t know how?  Do your goals seem like they are out-of-reach?  If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you’re not alone.  I think it is important to dream BIG, but in doing so we need to understand that goals are not reached overnight…and it will require a little patience to reach them.

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Are You Choosing Wisely? February 12, 2014

You Are Where You AreAs I was getting ready to start typing my thoughts on this quote, the first thing I was going to type was..."The longer I live...."  Well, as I was starting with that thought I realized that another famous quote by Charles Swindoll began the very same way.  So, if you have never read his ATTITUDE quote, I would highly recommend it because he talks about the choices that we make every day and how they affect our attitude...and that life is only 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

So, as I was going to say, I have realized through the years that life is largely dependent on the choices that we make...and yes, sometimes we can't control certain things from happening to us, but there are many things that would play out differently in our lives if we had made better choices from the start.  

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Making the Switch to Healthier Eating February 4, 2014

Rainbow NutritionFor those of you who may not know, I am a thyroid cancer survivor and since my diagnosis over 10 years ago, I have really become more serious about my nutrition.  When I did research on the type of thyroid cancer that I was diagnosed with I realized that there might have been a link with pesticides, so I have made it a point to try to avoid foods with any chemicals or pesticides.  However, over the past several years I have continued to learn about the positive (and negative) effects that certain foods have on our health…and love to share what I have learned with others.

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Weekend Challenge ~ Reléve-Plié, weighted January 29, 2014


Weekend Challenge ~ Releve PlieReady for another weekend fitness challenge?  Whether you want to add an extra challenge to give you a boost over the weekend or you just want a little extra support and motivation, we would love to have you join us as we do our next weekend challenge starting on January 31st.  This is a fun, low-pressure group, so please don't feel intimidated to join us.  Modifications are provided when the challenge allows and options to make the exercises more difficult are also given when applicable.  Let's have fun and get fit together! :-)

You can find us at Weekend Fitness Challenge.

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Weekend Challenge ~ In & Outs January 23, 2014

Weekend Challenge ~ In & OutsNeed a little extra support and motivation over the weekend...or just want to add an extra challenge to your weekend fitness routine?  Join us for our next weekend challenge starting tomorrow, January 23rd.  This is a fun, low-pressure group, so please don't feel intimidated to join us.  Modifications are provided when the challenge allows and options to make the exercises more difficult are also given.  Let's have fun and get fit together! :-)

You can find us at Weekend Fitness Challenge.

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Overcoming Builds Confidence and Strength November 18, 2013

Strength & OvercomingAt the end of my ChaLean Extreme workout this morning, trainer Chalene Johnson mentioned that there is no quality as attractive as confidence…and confidence comes from overcoming.  So, it really made me think about everything that comes from overcoming something that we once thought was too difficult.  In fact, my original post for today was about the definition of STRENGTH.  Strength doesn’t come from what we CAN do, it comes from OVERCOMING the things we once thought we couldn’t.  Therefore, I realized that overcoming is such a huge part of our personal and physical development. 

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